December 22 – Are there no Prisons?

Are there no Prisons?
Workhouses? Treadmill? Poor Laws?
Who lines up with Scrooge?

Is the story of Dicken’s Christmas Carol as well known as I presume it is?

I, myself, cannot remember when I didn’t recognize the name Ebenezer Scrooge and all that it the name involved.

The story has been in print (and never out of print) since 1843.

The story popularized the saying, “Merry Christmas!”

It has been made into over 20 movies, TV presentations and specials.

Know the story and the scene where Scrooge is called on by two guys raising money for the poor has to stand out.

Mr. Scrooge berates the two guys and lists all the ways he is already forced to help the poor.

Scrooge answers their questions about a donation with:

“I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned—they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.”

“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides—excuse me—I don’t know that.”

But you might know it,” observed the gentleman.

It’s not my business,” Scrooge returned. “It’s enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people’s. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!”

Who can read this or watch this scene and say to themselves, ‘ATTA BOY, EBENEZER!’, ‘THATS TELLING THEM, EBENEZER!’, ‘MAKING IT GREAT AGAIN MR SCROOGE!’

Who wants to line up with Scrooge?

Who chooses to line up with Scrooge?

So I am dismayed.

Reading and watching the comments, statements and opinions of people who I respect, people who I love, that to me, are lining up with Scrooge.

Look to the heart of the matter.

Look to your heart.

The last line that Dickens’ writes in this scene states, ” Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point, the gentlemen withdrew. Scrooge resumed his labours with an improved opinion of himself, and in a more facetious temper than was usual with him.”

The Christmas Carol then tells the story of how a friend of Scrooge arranges a journey of realization so that Scrooge can avoid the fate that awaits him

What fate?

Curiously enough the only other book in the English language that has never gone out of print is the Bible.

In the book of Matthew, Chapter 25, is this warning.

Jesus (get that, JESUS) said, “

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Matthew 25: 41-46 NIV)

Like I said, who wants to line up with Scrooge?

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